If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire arc intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they would do very well at school. Don't. For the Baudelaires, school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives.
Truth be told, within the chapters that make up this dreadful story, the children will face snapping crabs, strict punishments, dripping fungus, comprehensive exams, violin recitals, S.O.R.E., and the metric system.
It is my solemn duty to stay up all night researching and writing the history of these three hapless youngsters, but you may be more comfortable getting a good night's sleep. In that case, you should probably choose some other book.
With all due respect,
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As the three Baudelaire orphans warily approach their new home--Prufrock Preparatory School--they can't help but notice the enormous stone arch bearing the school's motto Memento Mori, or "Remember you will die." This is not a cheerful greeting, and certainly marks an inauspicious beginning to a very bleak story. Of course, this is what we have come to expect from Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, the deliciously morbid set of books that began with The Bad Beginning and only got worse.
In The Austere Academy, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are at first optimistic--attending school is a welcome change for the book-loving trio, and the academy is allegedly safe from the dreaded Count Olaf, who is after their fortune. Hope dissipates quickly, however, when they meet Vice Principal Nero, a self-professed genius violinist who sneeringly imitates their every word. More dreadful still, he houses them in the tin Orphans Shack, crawling with toe-biting crabs and dripping with a mysterious tan fungus. A beam of light shines through the despair when the Baudelaires meet the Quagmires, two of three orphaned triplets who are no strangers to disaster and sympathize with their predicament. When Count Olaf appears on the scene disguised as Coach Genghis (covering his monobrow with a turban and his ankle tattoo with expensive running shoes), the Quagmires resolve to come to the aid of their new friends. Sadly, this proves to be a hideous mistake.
Snicket disarms us again with his playful juxtapositions--only he can compare bombs with strawberry shortcake (both are as dangerous to make as assumptions), muse on how babies adjust developmentally to the idea of curtains, or ponder why the Baudelaire orphans would not want to be stalks of celery despite their incessant bad luck as humans. We can't get enough of this splendid series of misadventures, and can only wager that swarms of young readers will be right next to us in line for the next installment. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin SnelsonAbout the Author:
Lemony Snicket grew up near the sea and currently lives beneath it. To his horror and dismay, he has no wife or children, only enemies, associates, and the occasional loyal manservant. His trial has been delayed, so he is free to continue researching and recording the tragic tales of the Baudelaire orphans for HarperCollins.
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Book Description HarperCollins, New York, NY, 2000. Hard Cover/Library Binding. Book Condition: NEW. Brett Helquist (Illustrator) (illustrator). First Edition, 13th Printing. BRAND NEW COPY. BOOK 5 of full set of 13 volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Children's novels by Lemony Snicket, pen name of American author Daniel Handler (1970 -). Lemony Snicket, besides being a pen name, is also the narrator of the tales and hence an inbedded fictional character as well. Chronicle of the turbulent lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire after their parents' death in a fire. In Vol 1 (The Bad Beginning), the three ophans wind up in the custody of a murderous relative, Count Olaf, who has eyes on their inheritance. In Vol 2 , the children are taken in by Dr. Montgomery, their late father's cousin's wife's brother. In Vol 3, the three live w/new guardian Aunt Josephine, their second cousin's sister-in-law, and, Count Olaf re-surfaces. In Vol 4, experiences in child labor at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill. In this Volume 5, they experience life at the Prufock Prefatory boarding school (school's motto, "remember you will die"), meet up with the Quagmire triplets, and with fortune-hunting Count Olaf lurking about. The series have been adapted to film and television, and has been translated into some 41 languages. Book 5 of Full-set of 13. Bookseller Inventory # 017654
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800602888841.0